Saturday, January 5, 2013
Review: Surrender - Elana Johnson
Author: Elana Johnson
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Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…
Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....
I previously reviewed Possession (#1) - Elana Johnson with gushy-gushiness. So I was looking forward to the same wonderful writing, characters, and excitement as the first book. I was also hoping to find out what happened with Vi and Jag, but not looking forward to trying to choose between Jag and Zenn.
Well, the good news is--Elana didn't disappoint. (Of course!) The same captivating writing was as-present in book two as book one.
Book two introduces some new characters and re-introduces some old ones, and goes into more elaboration about the world Ms. Johnson created. It's an amazing world, and she describes it flawlessly; so realistically you feel like you're in it. The way she builds suspense just turns the author in me green with jealousy, and the reader in me frantic to keep going. Incredible.
I know the book is about Raine and Gunner, but for me, maybe because of the attachment I formed to them in book one, it was all about Zenn-Vi-Jag and their ever-present love triangle.
I felt every ounce of love Zenn felt for his dear Vi, so much so it made my heart ache and I hated myself for wanting Vi to pick Jag. I felt Jag's cavalier strength, full of admiration for him. I felt Vi's confusion and overwhelming emotions like they were my own. And they were side characters. But when they were on the page, electricity just seemed to fly. When they were all reunited, I almost felt my Kindle buzzing in my hands. The emotions built up between them was absolutely tangible.
Starting with book one and solidified by book two, I've decided Jag is the perfect hero, and Vi is the perfect heroine. It seems like a lot of the books I read who have reviews citing the girl as being "strong," are really just, well, you know the word. Not someone I'd want to have over to hang out. But Vi? I wanted to hang out with Vi. I wanted to be friends with Vi. I wanted to know her and see what made her tick. She was strong, resilient, and just fun. And Jag... well... who doesn't want a romantic mischief at their side?
Ugh, I can't wait the next three? Four? months until the last book. I hope it centers back on Vi. I bet it will center around all four of the mains--Vi, Raine, Jag, and Gunn. And the last page of the book? Talk about cliffhanger! Argh!!!
In summation: Read it. Definitely read it.
My one wince-inducing complaint about book one was about Vi's daddy. He used to break the rules and hug her and in her memories seemed like such a wonderful, devoted father, but turned out to be super-incredibly-evil. My favorite moment in book two that didn't center around Zenn-Vi-Jag was the big revelation about him. That her father has been on their side all along. He really was trying to save them. He really is working to help the resistance and overthrow the government. I was so happy, I was sighing. In book one you're really led to think he's a great guy, even when he's doing horribly evil things, so to find out in book two that he really is a great guy just felt... fulfilling. Maybe because I'm a daddy's girl, but I always want father's to be ridiculously devoted to their kids. It felt like things came full circle when her dad revealed the truth. I just hope that in book three, Vi gets to find out.
SPOILER ALERT 2
Crimeny, Batman! Can we talk about Vi and Jag's reunion? Oh. My. Gosh. It was brief (only a few paragraphs long), but so insanely beautiful. Beautiful-beautiful-beautiful. I didn't want the moment to end. I re-read it half a dozen times. I smiled. I went, "Aww," out loud. I melted. And as their scenes continued, the chemistry they had created in book one just picked right back up again, sucking me into the pages. I can't wait to read more about them in book three. If they're not in book three I might die.